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ARE YOU BECOMING A HYPOCRITE, MY BROTHER?

A Christian woman, praying one evening in tears before her crucifix, was surprised by her daughter, who, throwing her arms around her neck, said to her tenderly: “You are suffering, mother. But tell me what troubles you.” – “My daughter,” sadly replied the mother, “pray for your brother.” – “Does he no longer love you?” – “I am sure that he still loves me, but he no longer loves God; and you know, my child, that when the love of God is driven from the heart, the love of family and of duty quickly departs also.”

A useful piece of information

The young girl, when alone in her own room, prayed for a long time before retiring to rest.

The next day God caused to come into her hands one of those books, modest missionaries, which, borne upon the wings of angels, go forth to sow good seeds.

She found several pages in it which were like a revelation to her, and, taking her pen, she wrote, somewhat in the style of what she had been reading, the following lines:

A FEW QUESTIONS TO WHICH I BEG MY BROTHER TO REPLY THIS EVENING

How is it that my brother, so grateful for the smallest attention from his sister, so thoughtful in giving her pleasure, so ingenious in framing gracious words and affectionate thanks, forgets God so easily. He, to whom he is indebted for a loving mother, a competence which places him beyond the reach of want, health which permits him to enjoy life? How is it that he never says to Him, “I thank thee;” nor even a short prayer at the beginning or the end of the day?

Is my brother becoming ungrateful?

How is it that my brother, so exact in fulfilling all his obligations, so industrious when at his work, so submissive to those who can advance his interests, violates with so much indifference the solemn laws of God and the Church, allowing his mother and sister to go alone to Mass on Sunday, and alone to the Table of the Lord? He knows, nevertheless, that there is an express command for the performance of these religious duties, and he has not forgotten that several times he publicly renewed the solemn promises made for him at baptism.

Is my brother about to break his own word?

Will my brother prove faithless to his word? How is it that my brother, who has received a Christian education, who has not lost his faith; who knows well all that he owes to God and the Church; who could prove, if necessary, the perfect lawfulness of her authority; yet dares not to make any open profession of his religion, not even a simple sign of the cross; permits in his presence, without remonstrance, lying and blasphemous attacks upon God, the Church, and the priesthood?

Will my brother become a coward?

How is it that my brother – so discreet before his sister, so proud of her candour and purity, promptly silencing in her presence the least objectionable word – reads in secret, removed from the eyes of his mother, things he would not permit his sister to read, frequents society forbidden to his sister, and which he tries to hide from his mother?

Will my brother become a hypocrite?

How is it, finally, that my brother, so loving to his mother, so tender to his sister, so happy heretofore in living with them, seems at times to fly from their caresses, to cast down his eyes before them, amuses himself far from the family fireside, and exhibits impatience and weariness when circumstances force him to remain with them.

Will my brother become forgetful of love?

Oh! my brother! answer thy sister.

And the young girl, kneeling for a moment before the statue of the Blessed Virgin in her room, presented the little leaf to her, as if asking her to bless it. She then placed it on her brother’s desk.

Before the evening meal, which reunited the mother, brother, and sister, the young apostle waited anxiously at the door of the drawing room…

The brother enters, and, hastening to his sister, his eyes filled with tears, takes both her hands in his, and embracing her most affectionately, says: “Sister, I come to give you an answer: Before separating we will all say our evening prayers together.”

Sorrowful mothers and sisters, know you not some heart which vice has not yet quite corrupted, and to whom these lines would be of service?

– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889

 
 

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HOW GOD’S EXISTENCE CAN BE PROVEN BY THE NATURE OF EFFICIENT CAUSE

“In the world of sensible things we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible.

Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity, because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause, whether the intermediate cause be several, or one only. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect.

Therefore, if there be no first cause among efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, nor any intermediate, cause. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.”

– St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, from: The Path from Science to God, a pamphlet by Roger Nesbitt (faith pamphlets)

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2015 in Words of Wisdom

 

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HOW GOD’S EXISTENCE CAN BE PROVEN BY MOTION

“It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is moved is moved by another, for nothing can be moved except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is moved; whereas a thing moves in as much as it is in act.

For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality.

Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it.

Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and potentiality in the same respect, but only in different respects.

For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot; but it is simultaneously potentially cold.

It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved, i.e. that it should move itself. Therefore, whatever is moved must be moved by another. If that by which it is moved be itself moved, then this also must need be moved by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover, seeing that subsequent movers move only in as much as they are moved by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is moved by the hand. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, moved by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.”

– St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, 1, 2, 3, in The Path from Science to God, by Roger Nesbitt (Faith Pamphlets)

 

 

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MARTIN LUTHER, BEFORE HE DIED, SAID THAT BY DOING AWAY WITH CONFESSION HE RECKONED HE’D KICKED AWAY THE BOTTOM RUNG IN THE LADDER OF SALVATION

“Luther was a Catholic priest before he started the Reformation. He well knew what confession does for us, and before he died he said that by doing away with confession he reckoned he’d kicked away the bottom rung in the ladder of salvation. He knew that this sacrament saves souls who would otherwise be lost. How so?

Well, it’s all very fine for those wonderful people whose repentance is so vehement that they never fall into sin again. It’s all very well for them, but what about the rest of us? What about the ordinary people who fall again and again? What about the chronic sinner? And that’s us.

We know that God didn’t come into this world just for the good and holy people. He told us himself that he came for sinners.

When I used to work for overseas students, mostly Muslims or Buddhists or plain agnostics, I would sometimes tell them that if they were good and holy people, if they prayed a lot and kept to the strict moral law and gave alms to the poor and so on, then, whatever their religion, they might well get to heaven. But if they were just plain ordinary sinners then they ought to become Catholics. I’d say this with a smile and I always got away with it; they’d smile too. But I think they realised that I was not altogether joking.”
– Fr Hugh S. Thwaites

 

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WHO ARE THEY WHO MAKE FUN OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH? AND WOULD YOU FEAR THEIR JUDGMENT?

“Who are they who discredit your faith?
They are those who do not know it; weak and cowardly souls who ironically like to call themselves strong; impure people who don’t see the truth because their god is their belly, because they love pleasure and orgies of their passions. And you would fear the judgment of these poor unfortunates?

The wisdom of God, on the contrary, like a brilliant star, rises ever alive and immortal in the midst of men and you must fear only the judgment of God.

Don’t worry about men; they can’t do you any harm because God alone is the master of all. Fear God and trust in him with firm confidence. The form of this world soon passes, illusions fall, sham human power comes tumbling down… blessed are you if you can present yourself in the sight of God clothed in his glory, cloaked in his justice and in his charity!

Rather than fear human judgment, seek to bring back to the faith with great charity those who despise it.”
– Don Dolindo Ruotolo

 

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HOW TO EXPLAIN GOD AND SPIRITUALITY TO ATHEISTS IN TERMS THEY CAN COMPREHEND

You can’t see unconditional love, can you, and yet you have heard of it and believe in it.

Right. Another term for “unconditional love” is God. God is Spirit, the Spirit of unconditional love.

If Unconditional Love rules on earth, we have the Kingdom of God. This exists already in the hearts of the people worldwide who aim to move beyond the prison of self for the greater good of world society. Of course many fall back into the prison of self, turning away from Unconditional Love, regularly. This is commonly termed “sin”: acting for self as opposed to acting for the Greater Good of all.

Spirituality does not come automatically; because the snag is this: one has to decide to give up “self” for the indescribable freedom of spirituality, merge into the large picture. One has to admit to oneself that one is weak, humans are nothing but mud and dust, at the end of the day. This is not saying that unbelievers cannot do good things, of course they can. But our human nature is an obstacle to true, untarnished, reliable generosity and freedom of spirit; material and spiritual are diametrically opposed.

Without the decision to become spiritual instead of material (conversion) one is still trapped and in fetters by – for example – what people think, which is a tremendous obstacle to both freedom and Unconditional Love. “Lose your life (self) and you will gain life (merge into the larger picture of Unconditional Love) and your eyes will be opened,” says the Gospel.

 

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FOR THOSE WHO CHASE USELESSLY AFTER LENGTH OF DAYS – BIDDING PRAYERS FOR THOSE SUFFERING FROM ATHEISM

BIDDING PRAYERS FOR THOSE SUFFERING FROM ATHEISM:

Suffering takes many forms, and in all of them, the suffering of Christ offers redemption. For all sufferers let us pray:

Response (R): “Deliver your people, O Lord.”

For those who live in fear under the menace of political brutality,
– by the courage of the believers among them: (R)

For those who are deprived of the Gospel’s comfort by an atheistic or agnostic environment,
– by the commitment of believers among them: (R)

For those who chase uselessly after length of days because they see no hope of life beyond the grave,
– by the hope-filled lives of believers among them: (R)

(Personal intentions)

Our Father, who art in heaven, etc.

O God our Saviour, by the power of the Cross transform the terror that attacks all those who live in fear of death into courage to live anew according to the Gospel, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 
 

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